CNN correspondents and commentators experienced the 2016 presidential election in unique and interesting ways. This recollection and others were produced in conjunction with CNN's election project, "A Race Like No Other: The Unprecedented Election of 2016."
(CNN)Here's a confession: I was present at the creation. Donald Trump rode down his golden escalator to announce his candidacy about 11 a.m., June 16, 2015. After 45 minutes of rambling divisiveness that included some of his early hits -- introducing "Make America Great Again," boasting about his wealth and calling Mexicans "rapists" -- I was slack-jawed and ready to do post-game commentary on CNN.